Being a non-Christian, I can't say I am fully informed on the Pope's legacy. But I found Joan Ryan's recent piece to be an interesting dissenting viewpoint. While the Pope may have accomplished many positive things, he had the opportunity to build on Vatican II's efforts at liberalization, and conclusively pushed the church backwards on birth control, patriarchy, etc. Thus, dooming many women and particularly women in the third world to poverty from overpopulation, disease from AIDS which could be prevented with condom use, and subservience to men.
"His steadfast refusal to approve the use of
condoms -- when so many millions were dying of
AIDS -- seemed inhuman, unthinkable. "
"The church tells its followers that
artificial birth control of any kind is
immoral, an edict that, to me, is itself